There are over 4.2 billion active social media users which is around 53.6% of the global population. Social media helps businesses find, connect, and interact with their customers. They greatly help companies grow their customer base. However, in social media customer feedback (negative/positive) can turn viral and be seen by millions of people in a matter of minutes. Though stories of brands going out of their comfort zone to make customers happy do gain attention, it is mostly the barrage of negative sentiments or feedback that often becomes viral.
So, in the age of social media, how can you protect your company’s reputation?
Here are 5 ways:
Respond in Time
In the event of a fallout with customer sentiments, brands need to develop a habit of responding to criticism or feedback rather than keeping quiet. Silence is not a virtue in the virtual world as it results in negative feedback gaining more credibility and reach. People do not wait for factual evidence to come out, they react based on assumptions. So, the first thing to do when negative feedback is being circulated about your brand on social media is to respond to it.
Be Accepting and Professional about Negative Sentiments
Accept negative feedback as an opportunity to help your customer, be courteous and professional in your interactions, and improve your product or service from such feedbacks.
If the negative feedback turns out to be fake or malicious, you can present your case in the same forum with evidence to the contrary.
Have a Crisis Communication Plan
Keeping a set of positive response quotes that can be generically applied to negative social media sentiments can be handy as the first line of response. Also ensure that the right personnel are assigned to quickly handle situations on social media with the right response and prevent further escalations.
Translate Feedback into Action
The critics that bashed your brand online can be your brand ambassadors. Take their feedback, identify how to incorporate it, and portray the results on social media along with an appreciation to these folks who helped you improve.
Stay Neutral on Highly Sensitive Domains
Brands often gain widespread publicity for supporting or standing up for causes. While doing so it is wise to stay away from highly sensitive topics like politics or religion which can drastically impact your business by turning away sections of your customer base with hurt sentiments.
Social media can make or break a brand in no time. While it is nearly impossible to avoid negative feedback on social media platforms, these 5 tips can certainly help you preserve and improve your brand reputation on social media. ‘If you are looking at partnering with an ORM company that can do all this and more for you, please drop us a line.